Electric Scotland News
The Flag in the Wind
The Scottish Nation
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Scottish Canadian Newspaper
Clan Newsletters and Information
Poetry and Stories
Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to
May 1, 1892
History of Scotland
Good Words - Edited by the Rev Norman MacLeod
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in 1876
The Island Clans During Six Centuries
Sorry if you've been having problems with accessing the site this week.
Apparently our DNS domain inkeeper.net was marked for deactivation by
Network Solutions due to non payment. Steve advised that he did make the
payment but it wasn't processed and when they tried to contact him by phone
that was the week he was away on holiday. Guess these things happen but it
is a real pain in the neck. Anyway by the time you get this newsletter we
should be back up to speed.
We are still running on the older server while we're working on getting the
new server working again. As I was finishing this newsletter Steve called to
say that it's a motherboard problem and the company have agreed to replace
it... so guess it will be a few days before we are back on our fast server.
As an aside to this when I publish to the site my FrontPage program suddenly
decides to do a web update and when that happens I can forget about
publishing things for three quarters of an hour whereas on our fast server
it's only around 10 minutes so it shows the speed difference.
I'm intending to head down to Kentucky in September to hopefully get some
new features working on the site. I've also bit the bullet and purchased a
new Dell notebook which should also arrive in September. My current Dell
notebook has done sterling service in the UK, USA and Canada for 5 years but
it's now getting rather slow so was really past time to get a new model. I
was also conscious that this last year it's been out of support warranty as
I only purchased 4 years support contract. This new model has a web cam
built in... should be fun!
Dr. Grame Morton, Chair of the Scottish Studies Dept. at the University of
Guelph copied me into an interesting email...
Choosing Scotland's Future
Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP launched a White Paper today
inviting the people of Scotland to join in a national conversation on the
nations constitutional future.The First Minister values the engagement of
Scotland's diaspora in this conversation. The paper has been published as
part of the Government's fulfilment of its manifesto commitments and 100
days undertakings, and to ensure competent government.
The paper sets out three principal choices.
· Small extension of devolved powers
· Radical redesign of devolution and greatly enhanced powers
The Scottish Studies Foundation invites you and your family and friends to
join us on our 16th annual tall ship cruise on Sunday, September 2 aboard
Canada's largest sailing ship, the Empire Sandy.
Singers, dancers and the sound of the pipes will accompany and entertain you
with songs and music from Scotland and Canada. As you might expect, there
will be lots of tartan in evidence!
We will cruise out on Lake Ontario where the views of the Toronto skyline
are spectacular and the hustle and bustle of ships of all shapes and sizes
is a delight to the eye. If ever there was a photo opportunity, this is it
-- so be sure to bring your camera as it will be a day to remember! The
CNE's spectacular Air Show is also on that day - an added bonus!
The Empire Sandy will be docked on the south side of Queens Quay West,
directly opposite Lower Spadina Avenue, beside the Music Garden. Parking is
readily available in the vicinity of Harbourfront but be sure to leave
yourself time to find a spot. Public transportation is via the LRT (Light
Rapid Transit streetcar) that originates from Union Station.
This is a unique opportunity for you to share the experience of a voyage on
a tall ship under full sail and recapture the spirit of Canada's pioneers!
You can book your place for the 11am or 2pm sailings at
The University of Guelph's Scottish Studies Fall Colloquium has been
scheduled for Saturday, September 29. It will feature the Jill McKenzie
memorial lecture to be given by Professor Christopher Whatley (University of
Dundee) and will be based on his new book examining the Union of 1707 on its
300th anniversary. You can email Dr. Graeme Morton at
firstname.lastname@example.org to book your
place. Last year it was sold out so moving to larger premises I understand
ABOUT THE STORIES
Some of the stories in here are just parts of a larger story so do check out
the site for the full versions. You can always find the link in our "What's
New" section at the link at the top of this newsletter and pick up poems and
stories sent into us during the week from Donna, Margo, Stan, John and
THE FLAG IN THE WIND
Mind that The Flag is now in two sections (1) Political and (2) Cultural.
This weeks Flag is compiled by Richard Thomson. He has an interesting
article about the "National Conversation" mentioned above which makes an
I was also interested to read Alex Salmonds article on Scottish
Broadcasting. He's asking for better Scottish News coverage but this is when
time spent on the Internet now exceeds time spent watching Television. In my
personal view I feel that Scotland has not addressed the Internet as a
promotional medium nearly as well as it should have.
Anyway.. some interesting articles to read in this issue. I think this is
the best issue that Richard has done to date :-)
In Peter's cultural section he tells us of the Dundee Festival...
Many people, as the popular Bothy Ballad goes, will be travelling the road
and the miles to Dundee at the end of August and beginning of September as
the City of Discovery, once again, holds Scotlands premier Flower and Food
Festival in the Camperdown County Park, The beautiful park is the former
estate of one of Dundees greatest heroes Admiral Adam Duncan, 1st
Viscount of Camperdown who defeated the Dutch fleet under Admiral de Winter
at Camperdown, off the coast of Holland, in 1797. For those with an interest
in gardening and food, Camperdown Park is the only place to be from Friday
31 August to Sunday 2 September 2007. On the gardening front you can enjoy a
recording of the popular BBC Radio Scotland programme the Beechgrove
Potting Shed on Friday or the colour and aroma of the cut flowers in the
Floral Marquee, this includes the World Gladioli Championships. For
vegetable fans the Scottish Branch of the National Vegetable Society
Championships should not be missed. The Food Festival is backed by over 40
trade stalls selling the very best of food and drink and the Childrens
Marquee is guaranteed to keep bairns of all ages amused for hours. Visit
http://www.dundeeflowerandfoodfestival.com for full details of the many
events and take advantage of a £2 discount in Advance Ticket Bookings which
are available until Friday 24 August.
Dundee was famous in the past as the city of jam, particularly marmalade,
jute and journalism. Journalism is still to the fore and The Courier is
supporting the festival. In memory of the glory days of marmalade in Dundee
this weeks recipe, a microwave one (650W), is for Sweet Marmalade.
Method: Wash fruit, cut in half and squeeze out juice. Remove pips and pith.
Cut rind into thin strips. Put rind, juice and water in a large ovenproof
bowl (not metallic). Tie pips and pith into muslin and add to bowl. Cover
bowl with cling film and cook on full power for 17 minutes, until rind is
soft. Remove muslin. Measure fruit and juice, allow 1 lb (0.5 kg) sugar to
each 1 pt (600 ml) juice mixture. Add sugar, stir well and cook on full
power for approx 25 minutes until setting point is reached. Test for
setting after 20 minutes. Leave to cool, then fill clean, warm jars and
The Scottish Nation
My thanks to Lora for transcribing these volumes for us.
Now onto the H's with Howe, Howie, Howieson and Hozier added this week.
Here is the account of James Howe...
HOWE, JAMES, a most skilful animal painter, the son of the minister o the
parish of Skirling, in Peebles-shire, was born there, August 30, 1780. He
was educated at the parish school, and having early displayed a taste for
drawing, he was, at the age of thirteen, sent to Edinburgh to learn the
trade of a house-painter; and was employed in his spare hours to paint for
Marshalls panoramic exhibitions. On the expiry of his apprenticeship he
commenced as a painter of animals at Edinburgh, and attracted the notice of
various persons of distinction. By the advice of the earl of Buchan he was
induced to visit London, where he painted the portraits of some of the
horses in the royal stud; but owing to George III. Being at this time
afflicted with blindness, he was disappointed in his hopes of securing the
patronage of royalty, in consequence of which he returned to Scotland. Being
considered the first animal painter in his native country, if not in
Britain, his cattle portraits and pieces were purchased by many of the
nobility and gentry. From Sir John Sinclair he received, some time
subsequent to 1810, a commission to travel through various parts of Scotland
for the purpose of painting the different breeds of cattle, his portraits of
which were of much use to Sir John in the composition of his agricultural
works. Various of Howes pieces were engraved, and among the most popular of
these was his Hawking Party, by Turner.
In 1815 Howe visited the field of Waterloo, and afterwards painted a large
panoramic view of the battle, which was highly successful. During his
representation at Glasgow, he resided there for about two years, but falling
into irregular habits, he returned to Edinburgh in bad health and indigent
circumstances. Being invited by the Hon. Mr. Maule, afterwards first Lord
Panmure, to Brechin castle, to paint some cattle-pieces, he partially
recovered his strength, and, after a stay of four months, returned to
Edinburgh a richer man than when he left it. About the close of 1821, for
the benefit of his health, he removed to Newhaven, a fishing village in the
neighbourhood of that city, where, applying himself to his professional
avocations, he produced a number of large compositions, many hundred
sketches, and countless portraits of single animals. His wonderful skill in
depicting animals remained unimpaired by time, but he every day became more
negligent as to the proper finishing of his pieces. While he resided at
Newhaven, he entered upon the illustration of a work on British Domestic
Animals, of which Lizars was the engraver. Several numbers were published,
containing pictures of cattle of various kinds and breeds, but the work not
succeeding, was soon abandoned. The latter years of his life were spent at
Edinburgh, where he died, July 11, 1836.
New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Have made a start at this huge publication which will likely be with us for
a few years. The first volume I am dealing with is the one on Aberdeen.
There are some 85 parishes in this volume and a write up on each.
In the Civil history of the Parish of Lonmay it states...
Land-owners.The land-owners at present are, Thomas Gordon, Esq. of Buthlaw,
proprietor of Lonmay and Cairness, principal heritor and patron; [He is now
a general officer in the Royal Greek army, and author of a book which
deserves to be generally read, The History of the Greek Revolution.] 2.
Charles Bannerman, Esq. of Cri-monmogate; 3. James Russell, Esq. of
Kinninmonth; 4. William Shand, Esq. of Craigellie; 5. John Lumsden Sheriffs,
Esq. of Blairmormond; 6.-George Fraser, Esq. of Park; [Deceased since the
above was written. ] and 7. Colonel Charles Fraser of Inveralochy.
Parochial Registers.The parochial register begins anno 1709. The first
sentence following the title is worthy of attention: "1709, Sept. 24, This
congregation having for near two years been without an Established minister
since the death of Mr Houston, late Episcopal incumbent here, the people and
heritors several times endeavouring to have a gospel minister among them,
but still differing and dividing in their choice of the person: at length a
young man, Mr Thomas Gordon, Preacher of the Gospel, by appointment both of
synod and presbytery, preached, &c. whereupon the presbytery did legally and
orderly call the said Mr Gordon to be minister."
The entries made in the session record are very full during Mr Gordon's
incumbency, which ended at his death in 1743. Besides the ordinary account
of poor's money and matters of discipline, there are some notices of a
miscellaneous character, which serve to illustrate times past. Collections
are reported for repair of roads, bridges, the harbour of Banff; in 1718,
for the distressed Protestants in Lithuania; in 1726, fasting and
humiliation on account of scorching drought; in 1723, thanksgiving for
deliverance from pestilence raging in foreign countries, and especially in
France. [In 1737, Provincial Synod of Aberdeen appoint a day for humiliation
on account of abounding sin, and particularly bloodshed, under which this
province groans. In 1741, King and Church appoint a fast on account of
threatened famine.] Inquests on the bodies of murdered persons seem
sometimes to have been left to the kirk-session. 1727, April 9, the minister
reported that "he understood there was a design among the heritors of this
and the two neighbouring parishes of Rathen and Crimond to erect ane
Episcopal meeting-house near to this church, as yt place most centrical to
them all; and it was found by the unanimous sentiment of the session that
this designed meeting-house was promoted from very malice and splen to the
established government of church and state, and to instil into the people of
this corner, principles of rebellion against the Government, and favour for
a Popish Pretender; and as they were persuaded of this from weighty reasons,
which are not proper to be insert here so particularly from this
consideration, yt all the common people of these three parishes, and
especially in this, had always been most punctual and precise attenders
upon, and partakers, of all gospel ordinances dispensed by yr respective
ministers, had frequently signified their satisfaction with yr ministers,
and resolution to adhere to yr ministry, unless they should be compelled (as
they feared) to attend a worship fringed with ceremonies (by yr respective
masters)," &c. And it was found that the principal promoters of this
division, and intenders to have the meeting-house near this church, were "
Mr Fraser, present heritor of the barony of Lonmay, who was engaged in the
late rebellion, and still continued in yt same strain against the Government
and Gospel ministry; and also William Cruden, one of the Fraserburgh posts,
a nottour Bourignian in his principles," &c. &c.
1732, Dec. 10, The minister reported "that qun the fore wall of the church
was taken down, yr was a little cut stone above the big door, containing an
account qun and by qum yr church was built, with ye ministers' names and
entry there in office: and yt ye cutting of the sd stone was very bad, and
so defaced yt it was scarce legible, and yrefore he had caused buy, cut,
colour, and set up another stone, containing what was written on the
former." This stone is built into the present church-yard wall, and contains
what follows; "This house was built for the worship of God by the parish of
Lonmay, 1607Mr Thomas Rires being minister then, and three years before at
the old church. After him, Messrs William Rires, James Irvine, and John
Houston were ministers successivelynext, Mr Thomas Gordon was ordained
minister of the Gospel by the Presbytery of Deer, with consent of all
concerned in the parish, September 24,1709," &c.
Ive enjoyed many trips as a tourist, meaning I let a tour company or cruise
line make and execute the plans for my travel. While its possible to do
much of the research on line, theres nothing like a brochure with maps,
itineraries, dates and of course, prices. Since travel agents are paid a
commission by their suppliers the cost to you is the same whether you buy
from an agent or direct.
There are many things to consider when making comparisons for your trip.
Time and timing are usually the first constraint with a limit on days off or
working around school schedules or the desire to see a certain event. Check
for a list of festivals, competitions and highland games; you may find an
tour will not work for you.
In Scotland the organized tours generally start in April and end by
mid-October though there are exceptions. If youre not going to the
Edinburgh Tattoo, Festival or Fringe Festival, avoid traveling there in
August as tours that include those events are at a premium price. The upside
is that they will frequently include tickets and transportation to and from
the venue for the Tattoo.
CIE Tours is Irish owned, but one of the largest tour operators in Scotland,
Ireland and the UK; other major companies such as Brendan, Globus, Insight,
Trafalgar and Tauck operate numerous departure dates with trips of varying
lengths. Church groups, clans and even Tours with Beth & Marti may offer one
trip a year with emphasis on a specific subject. There are also tours for
those seeking active vacations such as hiking, biking, fishing or golfing.
When reading a tour brochure be sure and check out the dates that are listed
as guaranteed. If an operator does not sell enough seats on any given trip
they may cancel the departure and if you have already cashed in your miles
or bought a airline ticket its going to be an expensive fix, especially if
you cant change your vacation dates. Always look for guaranteed dates or
have your agent see if the trip has enough participants to operate.
Should you buy your air from the tour operator? Have your agent check out
the price for air provided with the tour, then determine the best price you
can find and add it to the land only price. You may do better on your own,
especially if you are in a mileage program.
Watch the inclusions. Most day by day itineraries will show which meals are
included. B L & D indicate breakfast, lunch and dinner, sometimes there are
special dinners or buffet breakfast so check out the codes.
If a brochure says you will see, view, or travel through an area or suggests
you may enjoy a stroll to visit a specific spot you can be sure its not
going to be a real sightseeing event. If something is listed as included,
listed in bold type or says your guide takes you to visit a specific sight
its probably included in your tour price.
If the itinerary says your afternoon is free
for independent activities they may offer an optional tour or you can
explore on your own. As a rule you will pay more for a tour that includes
more meals and sightseeing but with the dollar being in poor shape against
the pound right now it may be the best course of action. Also, you will have
more of your tour guides time as they are not trying to constantly sell
Several major cruise lines now offer summer departures that will cover the
British Isles with ports that allow for sightseeing in Glasgow, Edinburgh,
Orkney and Inverness. Lindblad Expeditions (www.expeditions.com) offers a
unique 10 night Heart of the Highlands cruise on the 48 passenger Lord of
the Glens. In 2007 they offered a 12 night itinerary on the 110 passenger
National Geographic Endeavor following the footsteps of the Celts and
Vikings, so there is something out there for everyone.
The Royal Scotsman offers the ultimate in luxury train travel with journeys
from 1 to 7 nights and would make a wonderful pre or post cruise adventure.
Check out the weather at www.wunderground.com, click on trip planner and see
when you may expect the least amount of liquid sunshine. No matter what is
says, take your rain coat and umbrella and enjoy Scotland, a vacation youll
Proceedings of the Scotch-Irish Fourth Congress at Atlanta, GA., April 28 to
May 1, 1892
Added more sections to this volume...
Ladies and Gentlemen: I have a very pleasant recollection of meeting our
distinguished President at the time to which he refers, and I think the
episode deserves a passing notice. The Sunday to which he refers was a very
rainy day. Old Pluvius gave us a specimen of his art that morning, and
seemed determined that no one should go to church in Lexington that day.
While it was pouring the ' rumor got out that the great Bonner, of New York,
had arrived in their midst, and was now down in the Presbyterian Church. The
people moved. He was a drawing card. Everybody was there but the preacher.
So your speaker had to take the weather and put in an appearance too. And
this reminds me of an incident that I read somewhere. There was a man in
England exhibiting the skeleton of a whale, and the Pasha of Egypt happened
to be visiting the country and incautiously walked into the skeleton of the
whale. The avenues of ingress and egress were at once closed up by the
showman, who sent out boys with bills over the city announcing that the
Pasha of Egypt was there on exhibition, and if they would hurry up they
would see him where Jonah was found. [Laughter.] So the presence of our
distinguished and exemplary friend and brother was the means of furnishing
the congregation on that occasion.
Now, then, let me say that it affords me great pleasure to be here to-day.
My heart responsive beats to your call. The accents of your orators are
sweeter to me than the music of Moore's melodies. I rejoice to look over
this bright array of fair women and brave men, representing, to some extent,
the morality, intelligence, and piety of the Scotch-Irish. Myself a native
of Ulster, I find that I am surrounded by brethren also to the manor born.
There to my left President Bonner, facile princeps, of whom we are all
proud. In my boyhood I was separated from him only by the waters of the
Foyle. There to my right, Col. Henry Wallace, who addressed us yesterday in
such glowing periods, and with so much rhetorical beauty, whose name at my
father's hearth was a household word. And there is Col. Wright before me,
the founder of this Society, to whom we owe immortal honors, and who was
born only a few miles from the spot where I first saw the light. My name is
not M'Gregor, but I had almost said I stood to-day on my native heath. I am
doubly at home; near by is my dwelling, and here I am, surrounded by friends
and countrymen. Though welcomed by our scholarly Governor and accomplished
Mayor, neither of these popular gentlemen was able to give you the real
genuine Irish, "Come to my bosom." I suppose they agreed to leave the
pleasant task for me, as they knew it would only come with a good grace, as
O'Connell used to say, through the medium of "the rich Irish brogue." Now
receive it in the spirit in which it is uttered. Caed mille failtie-that
is, you are welcome a thousand times. You are welcome and welcome, because
you are worthy, and because you are brethren. And now that we are here, let
us rejoice together.
The main element in these meetings is the social. Indeed I had almost said,
if it is not, it ought to be a mutual admiration society; and that because
there is so much to admire in the Scotch-Irish character. To this race the
world has never fully appreciated the debt she owes. They are a picked race
from the choice races of the world. To the Scotch-Irish we are indebted for
the grand principles: "No taxation without representation; no union of
Church and state." To the Scotch-Irish we are indebted for the electric
telegraph, which converts our world into a speaking gallery. To them we are
indebted for the application of steam to navigation, with all the wonders it
has wrought; and for the reaper, with all its countless blessings to the
world. To the Scotch-Irish the colonies are indebted for the first step to
independence. Bancroft tells that the first cry for liberty rang out from
the Scotch-Irish settlements. They dreaded the tyranny of England, even as a
burnt child dreads the fire. Now was their day for vengeance. Now was the
time for the descendants of those who had with Wallace bled, and those whom
Bruce had often led to achieve another Bannockburn, and lay the proud crest
of another Edward low. By the very oppression which old England inflicted
was this people trained to accomplish the great work which Providence placed
before them. They were charmed with the strife in which the Goth delighted.
They were always found in the thickest of the battle. Through fire and blood
and smoke they held on their high career. Asking no armistice and tolerating
no compromise, they went on from victory to victory, the last triumph
eclipsing the first in the grandeur and glory of the achievement.
Where is the great work that has been accomplished in peace or war, in arts
or arms, to which the Scotch-Irish have not furnished a liberal
contribution? But for the unconquerable stuff of which this race was formed,
the stars and stripes would have gone down in everlasting night. Like the
Gulf Stream that warms and fertilizes every land that it touches, so the
stream of the Scotch-Irish has been poured out as a benediction on the
They have made the solitary places glad and the desert to rejoice and
blossom as the rose. As the famous sculptor who, taking an exquisite feature
from each assembled beauty in the land, carved out an image which was the
pride of Greece and the glory of the world, so the chisel of Providence has
been engaged for a thousand years in fashioning that grand and glorious race
of fair women and brave men that we call the Scotch-Irish. Shall we forget
such a people? No; we will often meet, Mr. President, and, taking each other
by the hand, we will call upon this restless, breathless age to pause and
admire the glory and grandeur of our fathers. We will often meet, and,
embracing each other in the arms of our affections, will sing "For auld lang
syne, my boys, for auld lang syne," till the welkin rings with the music of
the melody. We will often meet, and, with the ancient Romans, bring out from
their niches the statues of our fathers and gaze upon their features with
admiring eyes and loving hearts, until, inspired with their principles and
imbued with their virtues, we will imitate their worth and follow where they
have led. [Applause.]
HAVING thus continuously traced the establishment in Scotland of this
limited Episcopacy, we must look back for a moment on the civil history of
the country. This was not marked by any great or striking events. There was
no external war, and no internal rebellion or commotion; and the success
which had attended all the late measures of the King produced a
trailquillity in the country, which had the best effects on its general
prosperity. Jaines had triumphed over the extreme license and democratic
movements of the Kirk; had restrained the personal attacks of its pulpit;
defined, with something of precision, the limits between the civil and
ecclesiastical ristrictions; evinced all anxiety to raise the character and
usefulness of the clergy, by granting them a fixed provision; and added
consideration and dignity to the Presbyterian polity, by giving it a
representation in the great Council of the country.
He had, on the other hand, shown equal wisdom and determination in his
conduct to the Roman Catholic earls. None could say that he had acted a
lukewarm part to religion. These nobles remained in the country, and had
been restored to their estates and honours solely because they were
reconciled to the Church. According to the better principles of our own
times, he had acted both extraordinary severity and intolerance; but even
the highest and hottest Puritan of these unhappy days could not justly
accuse him of indifference. He had, moreover, strengthened his aristocracy
by healing its wounds, removing or binding up the feuds which tore it, and
restoring to it three of its greatest members, Huntly, Angus, and Errol.
He had punished, with exemplary severity, the tumult which had been excited
in his capital, and read a lesson of obedience to the magistrates and middle
orders, which they were not likely to forget. Lastly, he had, in a personal
expedition, reduced his Borders to tranquillity; and in his intercourse with
England, had shown that, whilst he was determined to preserve peace, he was
equally resolved to maintain his independence, and to check that spirit of
restless intrigue and interference in which the English Ambassadors at the
Scottish Court had, for so many years, indulged with blameable impunity.
Here is how the article "A Journey by Sinai to Syria" starts...
No. I - The Red Sea
After travelling for five days from Cairo, we found ourselves encamped by
the shores of the Red Sea; and it is at this encampment by the Red Sea that
I propose to begin the account of my journey to Syria through the great
wilderness of Mount Sinai For, however interesting these five days may have
been to the actual traveller, introducing him, as they did, to the Desert,
with its strange new life, and strange new scenery; yet I am afraid the
reader would only become weary over "first impressions" and descriptions of
"Wadys" and "Gebels" that have no particular historical interest. Suffice it
to say, therefore, that, on an evening in March, our party, collected on the
summit of the gray wall of hills which shuts in the valley of the Nile on
the east, took their last look of that old land of the Pharaohs. And what a
contrast did either side of that summit present! The one moment, we were
gazing down on green fields, and woods, and citieshere on a steamer
breasting the strength of the broad river, there on the puffing of a railway
enginewhile far beyond river, and wood, and city, the great Pyramids
fronted us in their lonely majesty.
The next moment, every trace of man was gone, and we were in the Desert,
amidst silence and eternal solitudes; and for four days we journeyed through
that silent, solitary desert. On the evening of the fourth, we caught our
first glimpse of the Red Seaa mere thread of blue, yet so purely blue, that
it seemed, betwixt the gray desert plains and the distant silvery desert
hills, as a very slip of the azure sky, seen through a break in the white
clouds. Next day, we travelled nearer and nearer, till at evening our camels
were crushing, with their hoofs, the bright shells and scarlet corals,
thrown up on the moist sands by the transparent waves; and that night we saw
the sunset followed by the throbbing splendours of evening, which dyed with
its rich purples the hills of Arabia, rising beyond the opposite shore. That
night, too, for the first time, we felt assured that we beheld scenes of
Somewhere there had passed the hosts of Israel, when these same waters
"stood together as an heap;" and somewhere, on that far-off coastline, had
Miriam led forth the daughters of Israel, as, with high timbrels and shouts
of triumph, they beheld "chariots and horsemen cast into the sea." Leaving
the noise of the encampment, the growling of the camels, and perpetual
jangling of the Arabs, I went off alone along the shorewith its beat and
dash of waters, how musical after the dry, silent wilderness ! How strange
it seemed to stand there on Africa, and look across on Asia, to realise it
stretching from that on to Persia, and India, and far-off China; and to
know, too, that these very hills were bordering on the ranges of Sinai and
Horeb! The scene itself, independently of its associations, was very
beautiful. Behind rose the high mass of Atakah, furrowed and splintered;
away to the north, were the long, waste levels around Suez; to the south,
steep bluffs, sweeping round from Atakah, hemmed us in in a broad plain; and
over the sea, in front, and stretching far down the coast, until lost in the
haze of distance, were the white, glimmering hills of Arabia. Not a tree,
not a house, not a wreath of smoke, not one green spot, was to be seen, and
yet the whole was very beautiful.
This beauty arose chiefly from the wondrous atmospheric colouring. No words
can adequately express the exquisite delicacy and transparency of the hues;
the golden brightness of the outlines against the deep, soft sky; the purity
of the gently-tinted shadows; and the brilliant blue of the sea, which threw
the whole into relief. One felt how completely it was that colouring which
formed the chief charm, by marking the contrast when that colouring was
gone. The fading away of the lights of evening had much the same effect on
the heart as witnessing a dissolving view. Now, it was all glowing splendour,
but gradually a line of purple, like a fine mist, breathed itself along the
coast, growing, bit by bit, a denser and a broader beltcreeping up and up,
until there was left but a rim of gold along the ragged edges of the hills;
that, too, was lost, as the purple rose up the skysoon itself, however,
fading and languishing into many hues; until, at last, all died away into a
cold, gray monotony; and then, as if the "spectacle" were over, all gathered
into the tent for the rest of the night.
There are many points of great difficulty connected with the determining of
the probable scene of the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea. A
certain decision must remain for ever hopeless, as it is not at all unlikely
but that the Gulf of Suez may have covered, some hundreds of years ago,
whole tracts of land that are now bare desert. The possibility must,
therefore, always exist for the scene of the crossing to have been higher
up, and under conditions as to which we have now no indication. The duty,
however, of every traveller is, that, with his Bible in his hand, and the
localities before him, he should seek the spot which impresses him as the
one most in accordance with the sacred narrative.
Now, the first matter which will, to a certain extent, determine the
locality of the miracle, will be the answer given to the question regarding
the point from which the Israelites may have set out. As to this, there are
two chief theories. One would make Memphis the place where the Pharaoh then
held his court. According to the holders of this view, the Israelites, on
the night of the exodus, assembled on the wide plain near Troja, and
journeyed thence to the Red Sea by the Derb-el-Bassatin, along which we
ourselves travelled(see map.) Pihahiroth they place at the Wady Ramliyah
Pihahiroth signifying a narrow gorge, such as that wady is; and the plain of
Tawarak, on which they thence entered, is by them made the scene of the
encampment by the sea. From Memphis, Pharaoh would thus have given them
chace along this same Derb-el-Bassatin; close up the Ramliyah behind them;
and finding the Israelites with the Gebel Deraj on their right, the Atakah
on their left, and the sea in front, he might say, "They are entangled in
the land." But this theory is open to many objections. (1.) The
Derb-el-Bassatin is by much too long. "We were four days, unencumbered as we
were, making the journey; the Israelites could not have done it under five
or six. Should it, however, be said, that the sacred narrative does not
necessarily imply that Succoth and Etham were only one day's march each, and
that they may have been only chief halting-places; yet the case will not be
bettered, if we consider the number of days that must have been occupied, in
connexion with (2.) The want of water. There are only a few brackish springs
at Gandeli, about half-way to Tawarak. And supposing that water had even
been miraculously supplieda supposition for which we have no warranthow
could Pharaoh, with his chariots and horses, have passed over such a desert?
(3.) It does not suit the sacred narrative. We are told when they came to
Etham, the Lord commanded the host "to turn." And where between Troja and
Tawarak could this bo verified? (4.) Again, the Israelites would not
necessarily be "entangled by the land" on the above theorythat Pharaoh was
in their rear, and they encamped on Tawarak. Unless, indeed, a portion of
his army be supposed to have been sent round by the north of Atakah,
shutting up the passage between that mountain and the sea, they could easily
have escaped round the top of the Gulf of Suez. For these, and several other
objections, the route by Bassatin seems to me an untenable theory.
Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland in 1876
Am adding a variety of articles from this publication and this week have
You can see these on the index page of this publication at http://www.electricscotland.com/agriculture/index.htm
On the West Highland Breed of Cattle starts...
By Thomas Farrall, Aspatria, Carlisle.
Early History.Beyond the records of history, the Highlands of Scotland have
been occupied by vast herds of cattle, which have at length acquired a
character suited to a country of high mountains and rough-grown heaths. In
the northern parts of the country, the cattle had the name of North
Highlanders bestowed upon them, while for ages those inhabiting the western
sea-board and the adjoining islands were known as West Highlanders. Owing to
the mountainous character, and close proximity of this part of Scotland to
the sea, the rainfall is considerable, being from 30 to 40 inches on an
average annually; yet the climate, though subjected to violent storms, is
not so cold as might naturally be supposed from its northern position, the
waters of the Gulf Stream having a wonderful effect in preventing extremes
of heat and cold. This comparative mildness and extreme humidity of climate,
together with the peculiar nature of the soil, tend to produce a luxuriant
growth of coarse grass and herbaceous plants, interspersed with patches of
heath, thus affording sustenance to a hardy race of animals such as the West
Highlanders have proved themselves to be. The extension of sheep-farming of
late years has doubtless been the means of displacing a large number of this
breed, but it is questionable whether any class of animals can be found
better adapted to the peculiarities of soil, climate, and geographical
position than the shaggy Kyloe is. Notwithstanding that the numbers have
been lessened, it may be remarked that the breed has been preserved in a
remarkable degree of purity; unlike the North Highlanders, which have been
so much changed in appearance by the continued ingrafting of shorthorn
blood, that it is now difficult to find an animal of the original type, so
that a pure-bred North Highlander, if such can be found, may justly be
regarded as "a lonely straggler of a vanishing race."
Characteristics of the Breed.Perhaps no cattle are possessed of more
distinctive and strongly-marked features than the West Highlanders. The
following marks or characteristics stamp the genuine breed:Their limbs are
short, but muscular; their chests wide and deep; their ribs well developed
and finely arched, and their backs as straight as in the pure-bred
shorthorn; their neck and dewlap are somewhat coarse in the bull, but this
is indicative of its mountain state; their horns of good length, without
approaching to the coarseness of the longhorns of the lower country,
spreading and tipped with black; and all the other points are what breeders
call good. There is, indeed, much in the West Highlanders to arouse the
attention and win the admiration of those who love to see animals in an
undomesticated state. The beautiful and imposing colour of brindle, dun,
cream, red, or black ; the finely-arched ribs and level back; the deep and
well-formed chest; the splendid horn; the lively, quick, and fearless eye;
the broad muzzle; and the shaggy coat, impart to the Kyloes charms which are
not to be found in any other British breed. Their action, too, is of the
most graceful kind. Whether seen ascending their native rugged slopes,
moving about upon the market stance at Falkirk, or besporting themselves in
the nobleman's park, there is a peculiar freedom of motion which is quite
foreign to all pampered breeds. Lovers of the picturesque rarely meet with a
more gratifying sight than a mixed herd of Highlanders on a Scottish
landscapeit is a scene well worthy of the imitative pencil of the artist.
The farmers of the West Highlands wish to cultivate the black colour as much
as possible, as they think it indicative of hardinesshence the vast numbers
of that colour. Altogether, it may safely be said that there are few breeds
of cattle which are so graceful in form and colour, and so majestic in gait
and movement as a thoroughly well-bred Highland bull or ox, cow, or heifer.
A West Highland clan was not governed by the laws of the realm, but by the
Chief, and by the Chieftains who acted under his authority. At first, no
doubt, he assumed that the administration of justice was part of his duty as
Chief. Later, when he got charters from the Crown, very extensive powers
were expressly granted to him. I quote the words of one charter: "Cum furca"
(gallows), "fossa" (the pit in which a female felon was drowned), "Sac et
Soc " (rights of jurisdiction), "infang thef" (jurisdiction over a thief
taken in his own bounds), "outfang thef" (jurisdiction over a thief taken
outside his bounds). These were the heritable jurisdictions which the Chiefs
possessed and exercised till they were taken away by the Act of 1747. They
conferred on him absolute authority over all his clansmen, including the
power of life and death.
In war, as in peace, the Chief was supreme. He superintended the training of
his men in the art of war; he commanded them in every campaign; he led them
personally into the thick of the battle, and shared all the perils of
warfare with the humblest of his followers.
No class of men have ever had more varied duties to perform or carried on
their shoulders a heavier load of responsibility than the mediaeval Chiefs.
On their capacity as statesmen, diplomatists, and soldiers, the very
existence of their clans often depended, and their kindness of heart, good
sense, and sound judgment could alone secure the happiness and well-being of
No doubt there were some bad Chiefs who grossly misused their power, and
treated their clansmen with great harshness and cruelty, but the evidence is
very strong that most of them were the kind and beneficent friends of their
One very remarkable instance of their solicitude for the welfare of their
clansmen has come down to us. The Chiefs took steps to secure for their
people when wounded or in bad health the benefit of medical attendance. It
is recorded that a great many of them gave a farm rent free to a medical man
on condition that he attended to their clansmen.
Most of the doctors who were thus employed belonged to the distinguished
family of the Beatons, lairds of Balfour. The members of this family
possessed the gift of healing in a very remarkable degree, and numbers of
them were settled in the Highlands from remote times. Several medical works
in Gaelic by some of this family are in the National Library of Scotland.
As early as 1379, Farquhar Beaton received the lands of Melness and Hope in
Sutherland from Prince Alexander Stewart. Another Beaton settled on the
Argyll estate in the fifteenth century. One Fergus Beaton was physician to
the Lord of the Isles in 1448, and also became Chancellor of the Isles. In
the same century a member of this family settled on the MacLeod estate in
Skye, and was given the farm of Summerdale, in Bracadale. Another Beaton, in
the following century, was given the lands of Pennycross, in Mull, by
MacLean of Duart.
This custom endured as long as the clan system lasted. In the Dunvegan
Estate accounts of the 18th century are many entries of payments being made
to doctors and nurses, and several letters show that at the same time the
Chief was caring for the welfare of his people in another direction.
Whenever the crops failed at home he used to charter vessels to bring food
into the country, spending large sums of money, and often finding the
greatest difficulty in carrying out his beneficent intentions.
It is quite certain that, though the Chiefs exercised absolute power over
their people, they were generally kind and benevolent despots.
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